November’s Newsletter

Dear Friends,

“Count your blessings. Name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done.” That is the chorus from a great hymn which reminds us to be grateful to God for what God has given us. We have a day each year so that we can remember to be grateful. So as we approach Thanksgiving, it is customary to talk about how we are to be grateful. As Billy Graham put it, “Thanksgiving is recognition of a debt that cannot be paid. We express thanks, whether or not we are able otherwise to reimburse the giver.”

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Indeed, it is important to remember what it is for which we are thankful. As Billy Graham reminded us, we need to be thankful for our salvation. God sent Jesus so that our sins could be forgiven, and so that we can reestablish our relationship with God. Since God is love, it is impossible to live love or to be love without something to love. So God calls us back into this relationship that is damaged by our sin. He calls us to share in the love He has for us. He restores us through what Jesus has done on the cross and in the resurrection.

Thanksgiving is shared so that we can remember that gratitude heals our heart. Being thankful allows our soul to soar, soar above the current situation in which we find ourselves. By being grateful, we experience the hidden joy of knowing God. It is through our gratitude that God truly touches our soul. Or as Hannah Whitall Smith shared, “The soul that gives thanks can find comfort in everything; the soul that complains can find comfort in nothing.”

Finally, in being grateful, in finding the silver lining in each situation, in lifting up both the difficult and joyful to God in gratitude, God pours blessings into our hearts. Our life is overflowing with the presence and joy of being close to God. Lailah Gifty Akita, a motivational writer, highlighted it this way, “The more grateful you are, the more your life overflows with abundance.” This is out of her book, Think Great: Be Great!

When people come here, may they find us a grateful people. As we give thanks, we fulfill our task here at St. Andrew in showing that we are truly grounded in grace, that we live in love, and are growing for God.

In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Mark